September 30, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10239

Russian Nationalist Poet Karaulov: The Army Must Enjoy A Privileged Position In Russian Society Both During And After The War In Ukraine

September 30, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10239

Nationalist poet Igor Karaulov volunteering in an agitation brigade to rouse Russian servicemen is heartened by the calm demeanor and quiet confidence of Russia's soldiers. However, he cannot ignore the anti-mobilization demonstrations and the attempts to evade military service by leaving Russia. He claims that this behavior by Russia's elites is in stark contrast to imperial and Communist Russia, when the elites devotedly embraced their military obligations.

Karaulov's solution is to grant privileges such as tuition exemption to Russia's soldiers and extend them preference to elite schools rather than to the privileged sons of the Moscow bourgeoise. Henceforth, society will revolve around the Russian military. This situation will outlast the war in Ukraine, because the upkeep of a powerful army is necessitated by Russia's status as a huge resource-rich country with a small population. The West intends to steal this wealth and only the army can prevent such an outcome.

Karaulov's article follows below:[1]

Karaulov recites his poetry (Source:

"Last week I was in Crimea as part of an agitation brigade. There were seven of us: a deputy, a lecturer, a combat veteran (no, he wasn’t a pensioner with medals, but a charming woman who went through Syrian campaign), a poet and a poetess, an actor and an actress. We addressed soldiers in local units, crews of the Black Sea Fleet ships, at the military airfield.

"In the evenings, when I had free time, I was following the events unfolding in the country and was struck by how different our people actually were. On my smartphone screen, I could see the hatred and fear skewed faces of the 'no-to-war bunch', who had staged sparsely attended rallies against the partial mobilization in Moscow, Novosibirsk, and other major cities.

"I was comparing them to the faces of [mobilized] soldiers and sailors. I won’t say such words as 'exalted' or 'luminous', but they at least possessed calm faces, laden with dignity. And their commanders' [faces displayed] not only calm but also confidence in the rightness of the cause they were engaged in, but also in ultimate victory.

"The conscript from the unit deployed near Simferopol, who had only a few weeks left before his demobilization, said quite nonchalantly, without panic in his voice, that he might soon have to 'stay [in the Army] for a second year' having signed a contract. Meanwhile, crowds of seemingly healthy males sought to cross the Russian border in its various sections, from Finland to Mongolia.

"Poetess Tatyana Voltskaya, who was once recognized as a foreign agent, wrote with theatrical pathos that it was inappropriate 'to jeer after our men, under whose feet the earth is literally burning, and behind whose backs yawned the jaws of the military recruitment office.' None of these men even blushed from shame."

Tatyana Voltskaya (Source:

"Airline tickets to Yerevan and Tbilisi skyrocketed up to 400,000 rubles [about 6,900 USD]. This demonstrates that in our country the evasion of military obligations is unavailable to poor people. It turns out that the affluent, privileged strata of the population are the least eager to defend the country, which has provided them the best for decades, while simple Russian, Tatar and Buryat men go to the military registration and enlistment offices without further ado.

"This is an improper situation that contradicts experience of many different countries and eras. In the Soviet Union, when party membership was still a privilege, the slogan “Communists, forward!” wasn't an empty phrase. Under absolutist government, nobles and aristocrats considered it their duty to serve in the army.

"And in ancient Athens, the duties in case of war were distributed among the citizens according to their income size: the Pentakosiomedimnoi (i.e., the wealthiest Athenians) were obliged to outfit  an entire ship, the knights were expected to buy a horse and fight on it, the Zeugitai -  to provide themselves with heavy armor; finally, the Thetes were only required to be ready to fight for their native polis.

"In our country, with few exceptions, we observe a different picture. Thus, now we have to turn around the situation willingly or unwillingly. Privileges should be enjoyed first and foremost by those, who have taken up arms to defend the country. The Army must constitute the nucleus, around which society is built, while society’s other sub-systems have to find their place in supporting and assisting the Army.

"Let’s take the education sphere, for example. A good education is a major privilege. Among the numerous universities, there are some particularly prestigious universities in the country. As far as I can remember, the Department of Journalism at Moscow State University has always been one of them. It became notorious recently: a student, who entered the walls of the home faculty with [the pro-war] “Z” symbols on his clothes, was subjected to indecent harassment by fellow students.

"The question arises, should the government provide an education to people who, on taking up journalism, will publish anti-state items working in foreign agent media? Perhaps, we should think about replacing them with other young people, like those who went through the SVO [the special military operation].

"The first steps in this direction are beginning to be made. MEPhI [The National Research Nuclear University], which exempted the children of those, who are now being sent to the front under mobilization, from tuition fees, has made us happy. But a systemic restructuring of education is required that would provide privileges to servicemen and those associated with the army.

"The same goes for science, for the modern army requires intellectual power, and a true intellectual cannot divorce himself from the country during the crucial moments in its history. Let’s recall that many scientific discoveries and technical inventions were made by men in uniform or in the interests of military departments.

"Culture must also work for the army. The work that is being done now, and in which I have been fortunate enough to participate, appears insufficient to me. I dream, for instance, for the best theaters to play their premieres in front of soldiers and officers, and not to the Moscow bourgeoisie, who haven't managed to run away.

"I believe that a creative person needs to visit a place, where the country’s heart beats today, in order to avoid judging what is happening speculatively and repeat other people’s slogans following the 'foreign prompters [masters].' 

"But that’s not all. I believe, the army should remain the society’s core even after the end of the SVO. It’s not about the love of militarism at all, but about the country's objective needs that are dictated by its geopolitical features.

"Our country is vast in size and rich in various resources. The value of these resources will only increase annually.  Meanwhile, the country’s population is relatively small, and one shouldn’t expect a new population explosion. As the global clash over resources intensifies, we from time to time hear voices from the US and other Western countries claiming that such concentration of wealth in Russia is 'unfair' and that it should be 'ransacked' for the benefit of the world. In other words, for the benefit of the notorious 'golden billion.' Consequently, we need guarantees against such robbery.

"In the old days, such a guarantee was the integration of the economies of Russia and Europe, which acted in the capacity of the supplier of resources and their consumer [respectively]. Russia paid a considerable price for it, since the proceeds from the sale of resources largely remained in the banks of the purchasing countries, while our rich were spending a huge part of these proceeds to acquire Western goods: from villas and yachts to prestige consumer goods.

"Incidentally, the fact that the Russian privileged class demonstrated no willingness to defend the country can be explained by the fact that its formation was largely built around processes of servicing payments of this 'yasak' [tribute].

"With the launch of the SVO, the West nullified this guarantee and registered its 'profit' by stealing our foreign currency assets.

"One shouldn’t expect it to reappear, thus the price we were paying for an external guarantee of the inviolability of our wealth, we will have to pay to facilitate an internal one. Only a powerful military force could serve as such a guarantee."

"Thus, the U-turn towards the army is not a situational necessity, but a strategic one. We are now repaying the army the debts that have accumulated over 30 years of conditionally peaceful coexistence, which has proven so fragile." 


[1], September 28, 2022.

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